Gotham Media Ventures recently hosted a panel discussion in New York at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz on Madison Ave., titled “Politics, Tech & Decision 2012.” About 100 people attended and the audience was a mix of women and men, all ages. Now before you glaze over, it is an election year and we are about to elect the next President of the United States…Don’t you want the inside scoop? Some of the highlights I think you and I should pay attention to from this type of discussion: 1. The panel was made up of all men. Was it because they were talking about money, politics, and technology, and Arianna Huffington wasn’t available, that there were no women on the panel? Okay, I digress. The men did make some compelling points: Barack O’Bama’s use of the Internet four years ago in the U.S. Presidential election was a significant “disruptive” milestone in politics. Just as John F. Kennedy utilized TV, a relatively new technology, to get his message out to the masses, the O’Bama campaign used the Internet. Panelist Taegan Goddard, founder of Political Wire, made the point that Mitt Romney has raised only 9% of his money online (where donations typically under $200 are made). Conversely, O’Bama has raised the majority of his funds online. Interesting to note: Republican candidate Ron Paul DOES use the Internet to build his base and raise funds, and it also keeps him in the race at the top of the polls. 2. Eason Jordan, co-founder of Poll Position, stated “In 2008, the Internet was the disrupter and in 2012 the Super Pacs are the disrupters.” I first learned about Super Pacs by watching the Colbert Report on Comedy Central (seriously!). Stephen Colbert was not on the panel, but his brilliance in focusing on the issue of Super Pacs forced the media to talk about and educate us on what these legal candidate/issue-endorsing pacs do. Here’s a clip from Stephen Colbert if you haven’t seen it.